Four Distinguished Marines Saluted on U.S. Postage Stamps

10 Nov, 2005, 00:00 ET from U.S. Postal Service

    WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- America was looking for a few good
 Marine stamps so the Postal Service delivered four. Available nationwide
 today, the 37-cent Distinguished Marines commemorative postage stamps salute
 four heroic Marines who served with bravery, distinction and honor during the
 20th Century.  These legendary Marines include: Gunnery Sergeant John
 Basilone; Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly; Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune,
 and Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041105/DCF007-n )
     "The United States Postal Service is proud to honor the Marine Corps' 230-
 year tradition of excellence in military service to our nation," said
 Postmaster General John E. Potter, speaking from the Marines' Barracks in
 Washington, DC. "These four legendary Marines are inspirational examples of
 the U.S. Marine Corps extraordinary devotion to their proud motto: Semper Fi,"
 he added, referring to the Marines' credo taken from the Latin phrase Semper
 Fidelis, meaning "always faithful."
     Joining Potter at the Washington, DC, ceremony was General Michael W.
 Hagee, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, and some of the relatives of the Marines
 depicted on the stamps.
     "The Puller family is truly honored and pleased with this recognition.  He
 was a revered Marine as well as a magnificent father," said Martha Puller
 Downs, one of Chesty Puller's two daughters. "The light of his life was
 mother, us, and the United States Marine Corps, and each of his three children
 have sons named for him," she added.  "Father was there for us and showed us
 much affection.  We did not want to let him down, and I do not think the
 Marines he served with did either.  He was the constant encourager and had
 much faith in mankind.  He would never give up on anyone."
     Puller, one of the most decorated Marines in history, was held in high
 esteem by those who served under him.  Getting his nickname for his barreled
 chest, Puller often ate and slept and showered in the same conditions as his
 men.
     A First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony also took place at Marine Corps
 Base, Camp Pendleton, CA, near San Diego. Joining USPS San Diego District
 Manager John E. Platt was Major General Michael Lehnert, commanding general,
 Marine Corps Installations West, and Major General Richard Natonski,
 commanding general, 1st Marine Division.
     The stamps images, based on photographs, also include text identifying
 each of the four Marines. The approximate date of each photo and insignia also
 appear on each stamp (detailed background information on each Marine
 attached).
 
     Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone
     The John Basilone stamp features a detail of a 1943 photograph of Basilone
 and the insignia of the 5th Marine Division. The recipient of the nation's
 highest military award, Basilone was recognized during World War II for
 holding 3,000 Japanese soldiers at bay for 72 hours during the battle of
 Guadalcanal with only 15 men, 12 of whom died. Following this act of heroism,
 Basilone was sent back to the U.S. to promote war bonds. Shortly thereafter,
 he requested return to his unit to, "be with my boys." He again distinguished
 himself by single-handedly destroying an enemy blockhouse and helped guide a
 friendly tank out of a minefield during the invasion of Iwo Jima, where he was
 killed during a shelling attack, Feb. 19, 1945, at the age of 28. He was
 posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart.
 
     Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly
     The Daniel J. Daly stamp features a detail from a photograph of Daly taken
 around 1919 and the insignia of the 73rd Machine Gun Company, which is a
 variation on the Army's 2nd Infantry Division insignia. During World War I,
 Daly served as a Marine with the 73rd Machine Gun Company in the 2nd Infantry
 Division. Acclaimed by Maj. Gen John A. Lejeune as "the outstanding Marine of
 all time," Daly received the Medal of Honor twice for separate acts of
 heroism.
     In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the defense of the American Embassy
 at Peking (now Beijing) was in the hands of a strong but small force of
 Marines. On the afternoon of July 13, German soldiers were driven back from
 their position on the east end of the wall. When a Marine captain asked for a
 volunteer to take up point and provide cover fire while repairs were made to
 the fortification, Daly stepped forward and said, "I'm your man."
     Daly held his position alone, throughout the night, withstanding repeated
 Boxer assaults, an accomplishment that earned him his first Congressional
 Medal of Honor.
     In 1915, he was a recipient of his second medal when Marines were deployed
 to Haiti to protect American lives in the wake of an anti-government uprising.
 Daly was part of a night reconnaissance mission with 35 enlisted Marines and
 three officers when 400 Haitian bandits fired on them from three sides. The
 detachment found better position and fought them off throughout the night.  At
 daybreak, the three squads of Marines advanced and surprised the enemy,
 scattering them in all directions.
 
     Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune
     The John A. Lejeune stamp features a detail from a circa 1924 photograph
 of Lejeune. The stamp also depicts the insignia of the Army's 2nd Infantry
 Division, which Lejeune commanded during World War I. Born in Pointe Coupee,
 LA, Lejeune (1867-1942) is best remembered as a wartime commander after being
 the first Marine General to command an Army division in combat during World
 War I. He is also credited with saving the Marine Corps from budget cuts and
 consolidations following World War I and establishing Marine Corps
 institutions and traditions. The Marine base located near Jacksonville, NC
 bears his name.
 
     Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
     The Lewis B. Puller stamp features a photograph of Puller at Koto-ri,
 Korea, in 1950, and the insignia of the 1st Marine Division. Nicknamed for his
 barrel chest, Puller (1898-1971), born in West Point, VA, was one of the most
 famous Marine commanders in Corps history. He was a battalion commander and
 regimental commander with the 1st Marine Division during World War II and the
 Korean War.
     True to himself and the Corps, Puller never was one to mince words.
     During the Korean War, when surrounded by more than 100,000 Chinese
 soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, Puller is believed to have said, "They're on
 our right, they're on our left, they're in front of us, they're behind us;
 they can't get away from us this time."
     During his 37-year career, Puller was awarded 14 personal decorations in
 combat, five Navy Crosses (the nation's second highest award for valor), one
 Army Distinguished Service Cross plus a long list of campaign medals, unit
 citation ribbons and other awards. He began his career with the "Horse
 Soldiers" in China, then on to four World War II campaigns, the Korean War and
 expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua and Haiti.
 
     Philatelic Products
     Following are philatelic products available for these stamps:
     * First-Day Cover (Set of 4 with Washington, DC cancellation) $3.00 (Item
       458963).
     * First-Day Cover (Set of 4 with Oceanside, CA cancellation) $3.00 (Item
       458969).
     * Cancellation Keepsake (Cover/Pane) $10.40, (Item 458993).
 
     Current U.S. stamps, as well as a free comprehensive catalog, are
 available by toll-free phone order at 1-800-STAMP-24. A wide selection of
 stamps, other philatelic items, and licensed products are available at the
 Postal Store at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by visiting a local Post Office.
 Beautifully framed prints of original stamp art for delivery straight to the
 home or office are available at http://www.postalartgallery.com.
 
     How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
     Customers have 30 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail.
 They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the
 envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope
 addressed to:
 
     DISTINGUISHED MARINES STAMPS
     POSTMASTER
     900 BRENTWOOD RD NE
     WASHINGTON DC 20066-9998
 
     DISTINGUISHED MARINES STAMPS CAMP PENDLETON CANCELLATION
     MPO
     1895 AVENIDA DEL ORO
     OCEANSIDE CA 92056-9998
 
     After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will
 return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark.
 All orders must be postmarked by Dec. 9, 2005.
 
     How to Order First-Day Covers
     Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp
 issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-
 day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is
 offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free
 catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
 
     INFORMATION FULFILLMENT
     DEPT 6270
     US POSTAL SERVICE
     PO BOX 219014
     KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014
 
     Since 1775, the Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors
 and businesses by mail.  It is an independent federal agency that visits 142
 million homes and businesses every day and is the only service provider
 delivering to every address in the nation.  The Postal Service receives no
 taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues
 solely from the sale of postage, products and services.  With annual revenues
 of more than $69 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mailing and
 delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the
 world.  The Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world's mail
 volume-some 206 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a
 year-and serves seven million customers each day at its 37,000 retail
 locations nationwide.
 
 
                       Distinguished Marines Backgrounder
 
     Gunnery Sergeant Sgt. John Basilone
     Famous for his heroism during World War II, John Basilone (1916-1945) was
 a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient whose name and reputation are
 synonymous with the sacrifices and sense of duty shared by generations of
 enlisted Marines.
     Born in Buffalo, NY, and raised in Raritan, NJ, Basilone enlisted in the
 Army at 18, serving from 1934 until 1937 in the Philippines and earning the
 nickname "Manila John."
     Basilone enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1940. In October 1942, while
 serving as a sergeant with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine
 Division at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, he was in charge of two
 sections of heavy machine guns during a fierce assault by a Japanese regiment.
 With one of his gun crews out of action, he helped repel and defeat the
 Japanese forces. He moved an extra gun into position and repaired and manned
 another until help arrived. He later he risked his life providing ammunition
 to his gunners. Following the grueling battle, Basilone was awarded the
 Congressional Medal of Honor "for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous
 gallantry in action against enemy forces, above and beyond the call of duty."
     Basilone returned to the home front, where he was hailed as a hero and
 appeared at hugely successful war-bond rallies. He asked to return to combat
 to "be with my boys."  As a gunnery sergeant he participated in the invasion
 of Iwo Jima with the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division. After
 distinguishing himself by single-handedly destroying an enemy blockhouse and
 helping to guide a friendly tank out of a minefield, he was killed in action
 Feb. 19, 1945.
     For his heroism at Iwo Jima, Basilone was posthumously awarded the Navy
 Cross. In July 1949, a destroyer, the USS Basilone, was named for him, and
 today a statue of him stands in Raritan, NJ, where a parade has been held in
 honor of the hometown hero every September since 1981.
     Additional Basilone information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Basilone_J.htm and
 http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/johnbasi.htm
 
     Sgt. Major Daniel "Dan" Joseph Daly
     A highly decorated Marine, Daniel J. Daly (1873-1937) was one of only two
 Marines to be awarded two Medals of Honor for separate acts of heroism. The
 1954 Marine Corps Gazette remembers Daly as "a sort of legendary figure in his
 own time," and the Historical Dictionary of the United States Marine Corps
 states that "his record as a fighting man remains unequalled in the annals of
 Marine Corps history."
     Born in Glen Cove, NY, Daly enlisted in the Marines in 1899. In 1900 he
 was sent to China, where he earned his first Medal of Honor after defending
 the American embassy during the Boxer Rebellion, fiercely fighting off
 attackers while a barricade was repaired. Daly later served aboard several
 ships and locations such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Mexico. In 1915 he was sent
 to Haiti, where he earned his second Medal of Honor for helping to defend 38
 Marines against approximately 400 bandits.
     Daly saw combat as a gunnery sergeant throughout France during World War
 I. Numerous acts of his heroism have been chronicled to him. Daly extinguished
 an ammunition-dump fire, single-handedly captured an enemy machine-gun
 emplacement with only hand grenades and a pistol, and he brought in wounded
 while under fire.
     He is best remembered for rallying his men at Belleau Wood in June 1918
 during a bleak moment when his men were facing heavy German machine-gun fire.
 Daly ordered an attack, leaping forward and encouraging his men.
     For his bravery in 1918, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross,
 and he received prominent decorations from the French government as well,
 including the Croix de Guerre with Palm.
     Daly returned to the United States shortly after World War I. He retired
 as a sergeant major in 1929 and died in 1937. During the 1940s the Navy named
 a destroyer, the USS Daly, in his honor. Daly's heroism during World War I and
 his years of distinguished service have made him one of the enduring legends
 of the Marine Corps.
     Additional Daly information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Daly_DJ.htm
 
     Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune
     John A. Lejeune (1867-1942) made history during World War I as the first
 Marine to command an Army division. Remembered for his professionalism and
 dedication, Lejeune is often referred to as "the greatest of all
 leathernecks," and his leadership and foresight helped prepare the Marine
 Corps for the amphibious assaults of World War II.
     Born in Pointe Coupee Parish, LA, Lejeune attended Louisiana State
 University and the U.S. Naval Academy. After serving in the South Pacific as a
 naval cadet from 1888 to 1890, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in
 the Marine Corps. Prior to World War I, he served in Panama, the Philippines,
 Cuba, and Mexico. In 1909 and 1910 Lejeune attended the Army War College. In
 1914 he was promoted to colonel and in 1916 became a brigadier general.
     During World War I, Lejeune led the 64th Army Brigade and the 4th Marine
 Brigade. Beginning in July 1918, he was promoted to major general and became
 the first Marine to command an Army division. He led the Army's 2nd Infantry
 Division, which included the 4th Marine Brigade, through victories at St.
 Mihiel and Blanc Mont and through the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which helped to
 end the war. For his service, Lejeune was awarded the Distinguished Service
 Medal from both the Army and the Navy; the French Legion of Honor; and the
 Croix de Guerre with Palm.
     From 1920 until 1929, while serving as Commandant, Lejeune was determined
 to keep the Marine Corps from becoming antiquated. He foresaw the need for
 specialized amphibious assault capabilities and prepared the Marine Corps for
 island invasions in the Pacific during World War II. From his retirement from
 the Marine Corps in 1929 until 1937, Lejeune served as superintendent of the
 Virginia Military Institute, where he refurbished and expanded the campus and
 reversed a trend of declining enrollment.
     Lejeune was promoted to lieutenant general in 1942. Following his death
 later that year, an important training base in North Carolina was renamed Camp
 Lejeune in his honor. Today, in keeping with an order issued by Lejeune in
 1921, an annual message that summarizes the history, mission, and traditions
 of the Marine Corps is published each November during the Marine Corps
 birthday celebration.
     Additional Lejeune information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Lejeune_JA.htm and
 http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/lejeune.htm
 
     Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller
     Nicknamed "Chesty" for his physique as well as for his aggressiveness,
 Lewis B. Puller (1898-1971) had a reputation for incredible toughness.
 Renowned for his leadership during crucial battles in World War II and the
 Korean War, Puller became one of the most highly decorated Marines, rising
 through the ranks from private to general and receiving the Navy Cross five
 times.
     Born in West Point, Virginia, Puller attended the Virginia Military
 Institute in 1917 and enlisted in the Marine Corps the following year.
 Although a second lieutenant, he was placed on the inactive list due to
 cutbacks after World War I. In response, he reenlisted in the Marine Corps and
 distinguished himself in fighting against rebels in Haiti from 1919 until
 1924, when he again became a second lieutenant. Between 1928 and 1933 he
 fought in Nicaragua, where he earned his first two Navy Crosses. He then
 served for nearly two years at the American legation in China, where his
 duties included command of the famous Horse Marines. Puller's early years with
 the Marine Corps provided him with practical combat experience that was vital
 to his later command successes in World War II and Korea.
     During World War II, Puller played a key role in the Pacific, first as a
 battalion commander and later as a regimental commander. In 1942, after
 training the 1st Marine Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division,
 Puller led his Marines through fierce combat at Guadalcanal, where the
 Marines' defense of the airstrip at Henderson Field earned Puller his third
 Navy Cross. In late 1943 and early 1944, the 7th Marines also took part in the
 invasion of the island of New Britain, where Puller received his fourth Navy
 Cross following combat at Cape Gloucester. In 1944, Puller took command of the
 1st Marines and led them in bloody fighting against the Japanese to capture
 the island of Peleliu.
     During the Korean War, Puller again commanded the 1st Marines during the
 risky U.S. landing at Inchon in 1950. In December that year, when U.S. forces
 were surrounded by Chinese troops, Puller's 1st Marines tenaciously held the
 village of Koto-ri, allowing the 5th and 7th Marines to withdraw from the
 Chosin Reservoir area. For his service in Korea, Puller earned his fifth Navy
 Cross and a promotion to brigadier general.
     Puller retired as a lieutenant general in 1955 and died in 1971. Today he
 is remembered for his courage in combat, which inspired confidence and loyalty
 in those who served under him, and for the attention and respect he extended
 to enlisted men under his command.
     Additional Puller information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Puller_LB.htm
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- America was looking for a few good
 Marine stamps so the Postal Service delivered four. Available nationwide
 today, the 37-cent Distinguished Marines commemorative postage stamps salute
 four heroic Marines who served with bravery, distinction and honor during the
 20th Century.  These legendary Marines include: Gunnery Sergeant John
 Basilone; Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly; Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune,
 and Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041105/DCF007-n )
     "The United States Postal Service is proud to honor the Marine Corps' 230-
 year tradition of excellence in military service to our nation," said
 Postmaster General John E. Potter, speaking from the Marines' Barracks in
 Washington, DC. "These four legendary Marines are inspirational examples of
 the U.S. Marine Corps extraordinary devotion to their proud motto: Semper Fi,"
 he added, referring to the Marines' credo taken from the Latin phrase Semper
 Fidelis, meaning "always faithful."
     Joining Potter at the Washington, DC, ceremony was General Michael W.
 Hagee, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, and some of the relatives of the Marines
 depicted on the stamps.
     "The Puller family is truly honored and pleased with this recognition.  He
 was a revered Marine as well as a magnificent father," said Martha Puller
 Downs, one of Chesty Puller's two daughters. "The light of his life was
 mother, us, and the United States Marine Corps, and each of his three children
 have sons named for him," she added.  "Father was there for us and showed us
 much affection.  We did not want to let him down, and I do not think the
 Marines he served with did either.  He was the constant encourager and had
 much faith in mankind.  He would never give up on anyone."
     Puller, one of the most decorated Marines in history, was held in high
 esteem by those who served under him.  Getting his nickname for his barreled
 chest, Puller often ate and slept and showered in the same conditions as his
 men.
     A First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony also took place at Marine Corps
 Base, Camp Pendleton, CA, near San Diego. Joining USPS San Diego District
 Manager John E. Platt was Major General Michael Lehnert, commanding general,
 Marine Corps Installations West, and Major General Richard Natonski,
 commanding general, 1st Marine Division.
     The stamps images, based on photographs, also include text identifying
 each of the four Marines. The approximate date of each photo and insignia also
 appear on each stamp (detailed background information on each Marine
 attached).
 
     Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone
     The John Basilone stamp features a detail of a 1943 photograph of Basilone
 and the insignia of the 5th Marine Division. The recipient of the nation's
 highest military award, Basilone was recognized during World War II for
 holding 3,000 Japanese soldiers at bay for 72 hours during the battle of
 Guadalcanal with only 15 men, 12 of whom died. Following this act of heroism,
 Basilone was sent back to the U.S. to promote war bonds. Shortly thereafter,
 he requested return to his unit to, "be with my boys." He again distinguished
 himself by single-handedly destroying an enemy blockhouse and helped guide a
 friendly tank out of a minefield during the invasion of Iwo Jima, where he was
 killed during a shelling attack, Feb. 19, 1945, at the age of 28. He was
 posthumously awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart.
 
     Sergeant Major Daniel J. Daly
     The Daniel J. Daly stamp features a detail from a photograph of Daly taken
 around 1919 and the insignia of the 73rd Machine Gun Company, which is a
 variation on the Army's 2nd Infantry Division insignia. During World War I,
 Daly served as a Marine with the 73rd Machine Gun Company in the 2nd Infantry
 Division. Acclaimed by Maj. Gen John A. Lejeune as "the outstanding Marine of
 all time," Daly received the Medal of Honor twice for separate acts of
 heroism.
     In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the defense of the American Embassy
 at Peking (now Beijing) was in the hands of a strong but small force of
 Marines. On the afternoon of July 13, German soldiers were driven back from
 their position on the east end of the wall. When a Marine captain asked for a
 volunteer to take up point and provide cover fire while repairs were made to
 the fortification, Daly stepped forward and said, "I'm your man."
     Daly held his position alone, throughout the night, withstanding repeated
 Boxer assaults, an accomplishment that earned him his first Congressional
 Medal of Honor.
     In 1915, he was a recipient of his second medal when Marines were deployed
 to Haiti to protect American lives in the wake of an anti-government uprising.
 Daly was part of a night reconnaissance mission with 35 enlisted Marines and
 three officers when 400 Haitian bandits fired on them from three sides. The
 detachment found better position and fought them off throughout the night.  At
 daybreak, the three squads of Marines advanced and surprised the enemy,
 scattering them in all directions.
 
     Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune
     The John A. Lejeune stamp features a detail from a circa 1924 photograph
 of Lejeune. The stamp also depicts the insignia of the Army's 2nd Infantry
 Division, which Lejeune commanded during World War I. Born in Pointe Coupee,
 LA, Lejeune (1867-1942) is best remembered as a wartime commander after being
 the first Marine General to command an Army division in combat during World
 War I. He is also credited with saving the Marine Corps from budget cuts and
 consolidations following World War I and establishing Marine Corps
 institutions and traditions. The Marine base located near Jacksonville, NC
 bears his name.
 
     Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller
     The Lewis B. Puller stamp features a photograph of Puller at Koto-ri,
 Korea, in 1950, and the insignia of the 1st Marine Division. Nicknamed for his
 barrel chest, Puller (1898-1971), born in West Point, VA, was one of the most
 famous Marine commanders in Corps history. He was a battalion commander and
 regimental commander with the 1st Marine Division during World War II and the
 Korean War.
     True to himself and the Corps, Puller never was one to mince words.
     During the Korean War, when surrounded by more than 100,000 Chinese
 soldiers at the Chosin Reservoir, Puller is believed to have said, "They're on
 our right, they're on our left, they're in front of us, they're behind us;
 they can't get away from us this time."
     During his 37-year career, Puller was awarded 14 personal decorations in
 combat, five Navy Crosses (the nation's second highest award for valor), one
 Army Distinguished Service Cross plus a long list of campaign medals, unit
 citation ribbons and other awards. He began his career with the "Horse
 Soldiers" in China, then on to four World War II campaigns, the Korean War and
 expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua and Haiti.
 
     Philatelic Products
     Following are philatelic products available for these stamps:
     * First-Day Cover (Set of 4 with Washington, DC cancellation) $3.00 (Item
       458963).
     * First-Day Cover (Set of 4 with Oceanside, CA cancellation) $3.00 (Item
       458969).
     * Cancellation Keepsake (Cover/Pane) $10.40, (Item 458993).
 
     Current U.S. stamps, as well as a free comprehensive catalog, are
 available by toll-free phone order at 1-800-STAMP-24. A wide selection of
 stamps, other philatelic items, and licensed products are available at the
 Postal Store at http://www.usps.com/shop, or by visiting a local Post Office.
 Beautifully framed prints of original stamp art for delivery straight to the
 home or office are available at http://www.postalartgallery.com.
 
     How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
     Customers have 30 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail.
 They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the
 envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope
 addressed to:
 
     DISTINGUISHED MARINES STAMPS
     POSTMASTER
     900 BRENTWOOD RD NE
     WASHINGTON DC 20066-9998
 
     DISTINGUISHED MARINES STAMPS CAMP PENDLETON CANCELLATION
     MPO
     1895 AVENIDA DEL ORO
     OCEANSIDE CA 92056-9998
 
     After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will
 return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark.
 All orders must be postmarked by Dec. 9, 2005.
 
     How to Order First-Day Covers
     Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp
 issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-
 day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is
 offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free
 catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:
 
     INFORMATION FULFILLMENT
     DEPT 6270
     US POSTAL SERVICE
     PO BOX 219014
     KANSAS CITY MO 64121-9014
 
     Since 1775, the Postal Service has connected friends, families, neighbors
 and businesses by mail.  It is an independent federal agency that visits 142
 million homes and businesses every day and is the only service provider
 delivering to every address in the nation.  The Postal Service receives no
 taxpayer dollars for routine operations, but derives its operating revenues
 solely from the sale of postage, products and services.  With annual revenues
 of more than $69 billion, it is the world's leading provider of mailing and
 delivery services, offering some of the most affordable postage rates in the
 world.  The Postal Service delivers more than 46 percent of the world's mail
 volume-some 206 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a
 year-and serves seven million customers each day at its 37,000 retail
 locations nationwide.
 
 
                       Distinguished Marines Backgrounder
 
     Gunnery Sergeant Sgt. John Basilone
     Famous for his heroism during World War II, John Basilone (1916-1945) was
 a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient whose name and reputation are
 synonymous with the sacrifices and sense of duty shared by generations of
 enlisted Marines.
     Born in Buffalo, NY, and raised in Raritan, NJ, Basilone enlisted in the
 Army at 18, serving from 1934 until 1937 in the Philippines and earning the
 nickname "Manila John."
     Basilone enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1940. In October 1942, while
 serving as a sergeant with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine
 Division at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, he was in charge of two
 sections of heavy machine guns during a fierce assault by a Japanese regiment.
 With one of his gun crews out of action, he helped repel and defeat the
 Japanese forces. He moved an extra gun into position and repaired and manned
 another until help arrived. He later he risked his life providing ammunition
 to his gunners. Following the grueling battle, Basilone was awarded the
 Congressional Medal of Honor "for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous
 gallantry in action against enemy forces, above and beyond the call of duty."
     Basilone returned to the home front, where he was hailed as a hero and
 appeared at hugely successful war-bond rallies. He asked to return to combat
 to "be with my boys."  As a gunnery sergeant he participated in the invasion
 of Iwo Jima with the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division. After
 distinguishing himself by single-handedly destroying an enemy blockhouse and
 helping to guide a friendly tank out of a minefield, he was killed in action
 Feb. 19, 1945.
     For his heroism at Iwo Jima, Basilone was posthumously awarded the Navy
 Cross. In July 1949, a destroyer, the USS Basilone, was named for him, and
 today a statue of him stands in Raritan, NJ, where a parade has been held in
 honor of the hometown hero every September since 1981.
     Additional Basilone information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Basilone_J.htm and
 http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/johnbasi.htm
 
     Sgt. Major Daniel "Dan" Joseph Daly
     A highly decorated Marine, Daniel J. Daly (1873-1937) was one of only two
 Marines to be awarded two Medals of Honor for separate acts of heroism. The
 1954 Marine Corps Gazette remembers Daly as "a sort of legendary figure in his
 own time," and the Historical Dictionary of the United States Marine Corps
 states that "his record as a fighting man remains unequalled in the annals of
 Marine Corps history."
     Born in Glen Cove, NY, Daly enlisted in the Marines in 1899. In 1900 he
 was sent to China, where he earned his first Medal of Honor after defending
 the American embassy during the Boxer Rebellion, fiercely fighting off
 attackers while a barricade was repaired. Daly later served aboard several
 ships and locations such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Mexico. In 1915 he was sent
 to Haiti, where he earned his second Medal of Honor for helping to defend 38
 Marines against approximately 400 bandits.
     Daly saw combat as a gunnery sergeant throughout France during World War
 I. Numerous acts of his heroism have been chronicled to him. Daly extinguished
 an ammunition-dump fire, single-handedly captured an enemy machine-gun
 emplacement with only hand grenades and a pistol, and he brought in wounded
 while under fire.
     He is best remembered for rallying his men at Belleau Wood in June 1918
 during a bleak moment when his men were facing heavy German machine-gun fire.
 Daly ordered an attack, leaping forward and encouraging his men.
     For his bravery in 1918, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross,
 and he received prominent decorations from the French government as well,
 including the Croix de Guerre with Palm.
     Daly returned to the United States shortly after World War I. He retired
 as a sergeant major in 1929 and died in 1937. During the 1940s the Navy named
 a destroyer, the USS Daly, in his honor. Daly's heroism during World War I and
 his years of distinguished service have made him one of the enduring legends
 of the Marine Corps.
     Additional Daly information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Daly_DJ.htm
 
     Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune
     John A. Lejeune (1867-1942) made history during World War I as the first
 Marine to command an Army division. Remembered for his professionalism and
 dedication, Lejeune is often referred to as "the greatest of all
 leathernecks," and his leadership and foresight helped prepare the Marine
 Corps for the amphibious assaults of World War II.
     Born in Pointe Coupee Parish, LA, Lejeune attended Louisiana State
 University and the U.S. Naval Academy. After serving in the South Pacific as a
 naval cadet from 1888 to 1890, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in
 the Marine Corps. Prior to World War I, he served in Panama, the Philippines,
 Cuba, and Mexico. In 1909 and 1910 Lejeune attended the Army War College. In
 1914 he was promoted to colonel and in 1916 became a brigadier general.
     During World War I, Lejeune led the 64th Army Brigade and the 4th Marine
 Brigade. Beginning in July 1918, he was promoted to major general and became
 the first Marine to command an Army division. He led the Army's 2nd Infantry
 Division, which included the 4th Marine Brigade, through victories at St.
 Mihiel and Blanc Mont and through the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which helped to
 end the war. For his service, Lejeune was awarded the Distinguished Service
 Medal from both the Army and the Navy; the French Legion of Honor; and the
 Croix de Guerre with Palm.
     From 1920 until 1929, while serving as Commandant, Lejeune was determined
 to keep the Marine Corps from becoming antiquated. He foresaw the need for
 specialized amphibious assault capabilities and prepared the Marine Corps for
 island invasions in the Pacific during World War II. From his retirement from
 the Marine Corps in 1929 until 1937, Lejeune served as superintendent of the
 Virginia Military Institute, where he refurbished and expanded the campus and
 reversed a trend of declining enrollment.
     Lejeune was promoted to lieutenant general in 1942. Following his death
 later that year, an important training base in North Carolina was renamed Camp
 Lejeune in his honor. Today, in keeping with an order issued by Lejeune in
 1921, an annual message that summarizes the history, mission, and traditions
 of the Marine Corps is published each November during the Marine Corps
 birthday celebration.
     Additional Lejeune information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Lejeune_JA.htm and
 http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/lejeune.htm
 
     Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller
     Nicknamed "Chesty" for his physique as well as for his aggressiveness,
 Lewis B. Puller (1898-1971) had a reputation for incredible toughness.
 Renowned for his leadership during crucial battles in World War II and the
 Korean War, Puller became one of the most highly decorated Marines, rising
 through the ranks from private to general and receiving the Navy Cross five
 times.
     Born in West Point, Virginia, Puller attended the Virginia Military
 Institute in 1917 and enlisted in the Marine Corps the following year.
 Although a second lieutenant, he was placed on the inactive list due to
 cutbacks after World War I. In response, he reenlisted in the Marine Corps and
 distinguished himself in fighting against rebels in Haiti from 1919 until
 1924, when he again became a second lieutenant. Between 1928 and 1933 he
 fought in Nicaragua, where he earned his first two Navy Crosses. He then
 served for nearly two years at the American legation in China, where his
 duties included command of the famous Horse Marines. Puller's early years with
 the Marine Corps provided him with practical combat experience that was vital
 to his later command successes in World War II and Korea.
     During World War II, Puller played a key role in the Pacific, first as a
 battalion commander and later as a regimental commander. In 1942, after
 training the 1st Marine Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division,
 Puller led his Marines through fierce combat at Guadalcanal, where the
 Marines' defense of the airstrip at Henderson Field earned Puller his third
 Navy Cross. In late 1943 and early 1944, the 7th Marines also took part in the
 invasion of the island of New Britain, where Puller received his fourth Navy
 Cross following combat at Cape Gloucester. In 1944, Puller took command of the
 1st Marines and led them in bloody fighting against the Japanese to capture
 the island of Peleliu.
     During the Korean War, Puller again commanded the 1st Marines during the
 risky U.S. landing at Inchon in 1950. In December that year, when U.S. forces
 were surrounded by Chinese troops, Puller's 1st Marines tenaciously held the
 village of Koto-ri, allowing the 5th and 7th Marines to withdraw from the
 Chosin Reservoir area. For his service in Korea, Puller earned his fifth Navy
 Cross and a promotion to brigadier general.
     Puller retired as a lieutenant general in 1955 and died in 1971. Today he
 is remembered for his courage in combat, which inspired confidence and loyalty
 in those who served under him, and for the attention and respect he extended
 to enlisted men under his command.
     Additional Puller information:
 http://hqinet001.hqmc.usmc.mil/HD/Historical/Whos_Who/Puller_LB.htm
 
 SOURCE  U.S. Postal Service